Review: Kensington SlimBlade Trackball Mouse

No, the SlimBlade is not some vampire movie with Wesley Snipes (he’s going to jail anyhow) but this aerodynamic, sleekly designed, periphreal is decidedly sharp. It’s also a tad schizoid. And that’s a good thing. What I am crazy about is that with the touch of a button on top of this mini-sized travel mouse its smooth-gliding scroll wheel transforms into a responsive trackball. Finally there’s a pointing device for your notebook that works in tight spaces – you know, like the minuscule drop-down tables on airplanes – and is as comfortable to use as the larger desktop mice I’m more accustomed to.

My previous experience with mice made for travel is that their optical sensors are as inconsistent as Barry Zito’s pitching: they don’t always work on some surfaces. That’s why the SlimBlade’s 1000 dots per inch laser is dependable – no matter what surface it lands on, the mouse performs perfectly. The rollerball even offers 360-degree scrolling without having to physically move the mouse.

Bluetooth connectivity means that the thin-profile mouse is all you need to carry – no extra USB adapters or encumbering cables to schlep around. Of course that means the SlimBlade only works if your PC has built-in Bluetooth. If yours doesn’t, Kensington’s new USB Micro Adapter (literally the size of a thumbnail) should do the trick. It’s so tiny that it practically disappears when inserted in a USB port. With a mouse of this caliber, don’t be surprised if you find yourself plugging it in to your desktop PC as well.

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